Voices from the ruins: Theodicy and the Fall of Jerusalem in the Hebrew Bible

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Where was God in the sixth-century destruction of Jerusalem?

The Hebrew Bible compositions written during and around the sixth century BCE provide an illuminating glimpse into how ancient Judeans reconciled the major qualities of God—as Lord, fierce warrior, and often harsh rather than compassionate judge—with the suffering they were experiencing at the hands of the Neo-Babylonian empire, which had brutally destroyed Judah and deported its people. Voices from the Ruins examines the biblical texts “explicitly and directly contextualized by those catastrophic events”—Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Lamentations, and selected Psalms—to trace the rich, diverse, and often-polemicized discourse over theodicy unfolding therein. Dalit Rom-Shiloni shows how the “voices from the ruins” in these texts variously justified God in the face of the rampant destruction, expressed doubt, and protested God’s action (and inaction).

Rather than trying to paper over the stark theological differences between the writings of these sixth-century historiographers, prophets, and poets, Rom-Shiloni emphasizes the dynamic of theological pluralism as a genuine characteristic of the Hebrew Bible. Through these avenues, and with her careful, discerning textual analysis, she provides readers with insight into how the sufferers of an ancient national catastrophe wrestled with the difficult question that has accompanied tragedies throughout history: Where was God?
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGrand Rapids, Michigan
PublisherWilliam B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Number of pages580
ISBN (Print)0802878601, 1467461873, 9780802878601, 9781467461870
StatePublished - 2021

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • Temple of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Israel) -- Destruction and pillage
  • Temple of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Israel) -- In the Bible
  • Bible -- Theology
  • God -- Biblical teaching
  • Providence and government of God -- Judaism
  • Theodicy -- Biblical teaching
  • Temple of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Israel) in the Bible
  • Bible -- Teachings
  • Biblical teachings
  • Teachings of the Bible
  • Theology, Biblical
  • God (Judaism) -- Biblical teaching
  • God (Christianity) -- Biblical teaching
  • Providence and government of God (Judaism)


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